Ex-England candidate Redknapp fired by Tottenham

A few months ago, Harry Redknapp beat tax evasion charges and

was a leading candidate to coach England with Tottenham playing

arguably the most stylish football in the country. Now he is


That reversal of fortunes was confirmed when Spurs fired the

65-year-old Englishman on Thursday, ending his reign at White Hart

Lane after nearly four seasons in charge and with a year left on

his contract.

Redknapp looks to have paid the price for Tottenham’s failure to

qualify for the lucrative Champions League, a collapse in form

ensuring the team won only three of its last 13 Premier League


He had been keen to extend his contract but the club told

Redknapp that it wanted to go in a different direction.

”I have had a fantastic four years with the club, at times the

football has been breathtaking,” Redknapp said on Tottenham’s

website. ”I am sad to be leaving.”

After agreeing on a compensation package with Tottenham,

Redknapp told the BBC: ”I don’t think I’m at the end of my career.

(Manchester United manager) Alex Ferguson is in his 70s and still

the best manager in the world.”

Everton manager David Moyes is the bookmakers’ heavy favorite to

replace Redknapp after having spent 10 years in charge of the

Merseyside club.

Redknapp, a former West Ham player, took charge at Spurs in

October 2008 when they were bottom of the Premier League. They

secured a top-four finish the following season and reached the

Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.

But Tottenham’s failure to rejoin Europe’s elite appears to have

ultimately cost Redknapp his job, despite another fourth-place

finish for a club that hasn’t won the English league title since


”This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly,”

chairman Daniel Levy said. ”Harry arrived at the club at a time

when his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.

”This decision in no way detracts from the excellent work Harry

has done during his time with the club, and I should like to thank

him for his achievements and contribution. Harry will always be

welcome at the Lane.”

Redknapp’s side had been on course to qualify for the Champions

League again, spending much of the season in third place.

But the team’s fortunes plummeted late in the season, throwing

away a 10-point lead over fourth-place Arsenal at the time when

Redknapp was strongly linked with the England coaching job

following Fabio Capello’s resignation in February.

But after months of unsettling speculation about Redknapp’s

potential departure, Roy Hodgson was appointed to the England job

in early May.

Tottenham missed out on a Champions League berth despite

finishing fourth. England’s fourth Champions League place instead

went to Chelsea, which finished sixth in the Premier League but

then won the European Cup to secure an automatic route back into

the competition as defending champion.

Redknapp’s stock soared in 2008 for the rapid improvement he

engineered at Spurs after the brief and troubled reign of

predecessor Juande Ramos.

He also became the first English manager in 13 years to win the

FA Cup, leading Portsmouth to the 2008 title.

He had a respectable career as a player alongside Bobby Moore at

West Ham, before starting in management at Bournemouth in 1983.

In nine years at Bournemouth, Redknapp unlocked the potential of

an underachieving side, taking the Cherries to the second tier of

English football and famously knocking Manchester United out of the

1984 FA Cup.

A seven-year stint with West Ham followed before spending six

years at Portsmouth, interrupted by a short-lived and controversial

move to local rival Southampton.

After being dogged by unproven graft allegations in recent

years, Redknapp was cleared in February of tax evasion charges

after being accused of concealing $295,000 of transfer bonuses in a

Monaco bank account.


AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in Krakow, Poland, contributed to

this report.